Will TTP back the ISIS?

Published: July 4, 2014
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The Government of Pakistan might be obliged to put in its claws to eliminate the terrorists haunting Iraq and Syria because its own ‘bad boys’ have gone haywire out there.

Reports from various sources and news agencies are claiming that Pakistan is all geared up to tackle terrorism on a large scale. The question however is: how much can Pakistan really do, with the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, protection of its eastern borders and dealing with internal security affairs?

On the other hand, the United States has once again embarked upon a full scale procedure to eradicate the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Iraq. The US has confirmed that it is now flying armed drones over Baghdad. Pentagon has claimed that this act is for the protection of the deployed US troops in Iraq, who are there to assess the worsening security situation in the region.

With armed drones flying to tackle radical terrorists, one can only imagine what the collateral damage would be with even a singular strike. The main agenda behind the US deploying 180 of the 300 troops that Barack Obama assured to deliver to Iraq is not all too difficult to understand. But is flying armed drones to protect 180 US troops even logical?

ISIS is a known Jihadist militant group stemming from Iraq and Syria. The main aim behind this group is to create a caliphate that is in Sunni preponderance regions of Iraq and Syria. A few days back, the group captured Fallujah, Mosul and Saddam Hussein’s hometown, Tikrit, in massive military offensives.

The atrocities that are being carried out by ISIS are unspeakable. The group is trying to create a Muslim state by the use of power, not knowing that neither the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) nor the five caliphs who followed had planned to create a Muslim state; rather they aimed on creating a welfare state. Evidence of this can be found in a particular incident that took place in Madina, where punishments for a Jewish tribe were announced from the Torah and not from the Holy Quran. Thus, the ISIS, though waving the banner of Islam, might not even be familiar with it.

But then again, when was better sense ever prevalent in blood-thirsty fundamentalists?

Subsequently, in Pakistan, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is known for preaching a hard-lined stance of Sunni Islam, has become exceedingly infamous for the horrific murders of Shia civilians. Hassan Abbas, a Pakistani scholar, equates the TTP to the monstrously blood thirsty al Qaeda-derivative ISIS. The scary part is that Abbas thinks that,

“A TTP-ISIS alliance is only a matter of time.”

The first thought that came to my mind after reading Abbas’ statement was that, if a TTP-ISIS coalition does come about, then how will they operate with an entire foreign country, Iran, in the middle? The insurgency taking place in Iraq and Syria at the moment is clearly one based on the conflict between the two religious sects, Sunnis and Shias. ISIS is waging war to create a Sunni caliphate greatly influenced by the Wahhabi movement, while Iran has a Shiite population.

Hence, are we seeing a repeat of what occurred in the 1980s which ultimately led to the ‘Desert Storm’? Conversely, if TTP backs ISIS, then what the Shia population will go through in Pakistan is truly unfathomable.

Now, let’s just think for a moment that a bunch of TTP radicals join up with ISIS and carry on with their killing spree. The Government of Pakistan might be obliged to put in its claws to eliminate the terrorists haunting Iraq and Syria because its own ‘bad boys’ have gone haywire out there. But will it be successful in doing so? If yes, then how does Pakistan aim to cater to the operation in North Waziristan, protect its Eastern borders and manage internal threats from fundamentalists all the while dealing with the ISIS? How much budget for our ‘good boys’, the personnel of the armed forces, can Pakistan afford?

The answer is simple: not much.

According to the United Nations (UN), all members are duty-bound to join the peace keeping force. Thereby, Pakistan being a member of the UN may feel obliged to join the forces in Iraq to eradicate the radicals. However, this is not a war initiated by the UN; hence Pakistan should stay away from it. We already have enough on our plate.

Coming back to what the US is doing out there is another question that, although clear, has no coherent answer. Obama has sent in troops as well as military advisors in the region, but has said that no air strikes would take place. Yes, that is very logical Mr Obama but why then are “armed drones” flying in the region?

While Pakistan is in the middle of operation Zarb-e-Azb, one that the US wanted to take place for quite some time now, it cannot afford to send troops to handle the ISIS. The Right Honourable, Iain Duncan Smith, MP, has claimed that Britain will be “supporting the Americans”; whereas, Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has completely opposed the United States’ actions.

Although the ISIS is not a small group and the atrocities being conducted by it are beyond barbaric, yet should the US really be flying armed drones? Would that not cause the not-so-wanted collateral damage? And lastly, doesn’t Pakistan have enough going on for it to even consider aiding the US in its own war mongering bender, even if the TTP does decide to forge an alliance with the ISIS?

What will come out of this operation in Iraq by the US, apart from the body bags that the US citizens are tired of receiving, is beyond me. We can’t give much thought to the body bags in Iraq, as those aren’t rendered to be ‘body bags’ since they are a mere ‘figure’. The point of this action by the US remains to be answered by those who have their vested interests in the region.

Perhaps, it is time for the G8 leaders to address this harrowing situation and for a serious peace keeping act to be formed in order to curtail the barbarianism that is draining the last drop of blood in the region.

Zara Hafeez

Zara Hafeez

A digital marketer, writer, a history buff, volunteer for humanitarian causes for The James Caan Foundation, UNICEF Promise for Children, among others and a tea-aholic. She tweets as @zara_hafeez (twitter.com/zara_hafeez)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ahmed

    Oh my God. This was beyond stupid. Totally confused and incoherent article which was probably written after only reading the headlines of past week without bothering to actually open the links of actual news.Recommend

  • Queen

    This a totally confused blog. What is the author trying to establish; is it TTP-ISIS alliance, Pakistan’s military operation in North Waziristan; or the threats to Shi’ites in Iraq and Pakistan? Kindly read international news to find out more about the developments taking place in Iraq.Recommend

  • JayMankind

    Pakistan always wanted to introduce Sharia. ISIS is planning just that. Pakistanis like the idea of a Caliphate. ISIS is planning just that. So where is the contention?Recommend

  • WB

    I liked this blog.

    Also, very well written.

    Hope Pakistan understands the dangers it faces and crushes not only TTP, but also JuD (which has been declared a terrorist organization by USA recently), SSP, JEM and LeJ.Recommend

  • Umair Abid

    You made no sense whatsoeverRecommend

  • BlackJack

    “Evidence of this can be found in a particular incident that took place in Madina, where punishments for a Jewish tribe were announced from the Torah and not from the Holy Quran.” An entire tribe of non-Muslims are punished, and we are supposed to celebrate that a punishment is chosen from their own holy book. By that logic, Pakistanis who are getting killed by terrorists should rejoice that they are being killed by Muslims and not pagans and infidels. In both cases, the authority to punish cannot be questioned.Recommend

  • Confused

    Its not as bad written as you wrote..most of the point are strong…..Recommend

  • Hamza

    What was this? No seriously, what was this? What are you even trying to say? A completely jumbled up article that makes little to no sense. The title is “Will TTP back ISIS?” and yet the article concentrates more on how “bad” the USA is than on the connection between TTP and ISIS.
    As far as drones are concerned, You say that ISIS is barbaric but you don’t want drones to be used against them? Then what? Do you seriously believe the Iraqi military and government are capable of tackling this on their own? Should the government in Baghdad be allowed to fall so that ISIS can continue it’s march towards Iran? Besides, the Russian jets being used by the Iraqi Air Force are more likely to cause collateral damage
    Good Lord! The way this article has been written makes even counter-argument to most things here impossibleRecommend

  • AA

    no sense of what she is talking aboutRecommend

  • Necromancer

    come on you really need to get your fact straight 1) Who are the five caliphs you are talking about, I reckon you were trying to say four 2) Iran has offered US to help in Iraq please check 3) Pakistan is not obliged to send peace troops it is up to the Govt. to decide ……………and last please don’t write on Foreign PolicyRecommend

  • D

    A very well written article. Crisp and precise. Recommend

  • Alann

    Although the title of this article is “Will TTP back the ISIS?”, the author discusses multiple things except that question.
    She talks of Pakistan not being able to afford budget for Pakistan Army to fight such a TTP-ISIS combination, if it ever happens.
    She also questions “[…]should the US really be flying armed drones? Would that not cause the not-so-wanted collateral damage?”
    And she also wonders how such a TTP-ISIS combination “will they operate with an entire foreign country, Iran, in the middle?” !Recommend

  • ZKhan

    I don’t understand what the writer want to prove!!!However it is an opinion but the issue in Iraq was already prevailing from many years..This time Sunni tribe group got the chance to hold the city of Fallujah and Mosul with the help of ISIS but Tribes will not support this ISIS once they start their inhuman nature towards innocent peoples. In Syria they can hold territory but in Iraq this not possible once the Iraqi Government formed the unity government.

    While in Pakistan TTP was already holding safe position in NW agency due to the immorale policies of the Pakistani government but now the cleanising operations have been started moreover now the Pakistani government will have control in those areas and it will be difficult for the terrorist to get safe hidings and the question of ISIS in Pakistan is impossible. Pakistani army is very strong to defend their areas from this Cowards terrorist groups.Recommend

  • Jumrud Khan Shinwari

    Very confusing. Author needs to be more systematic when putting down her ideas.
    Shias are already undergoing genocide in this country. Acknowledged by the HRCP.
    [A spineless organisation]
    And the govt. is aiding and abetting in this killing spree of Shias, As recognised by HRWRecommend

  • Vap

    How hard is that to understand that TTP or the mother organization Al-Qaida has same objectives as ISIS ! They are all up for Khurasan and Ghazwa i Hind. ISIS is enjoying the supremacy as Iraqi army either has lost the will to fight or they are poorly equipped. Yankies will have their interests protected, so far they are not threatened by ISIS.Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    The article lacks coherence and order and repeats ideas Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    We Pakistanis should assist the Iraqis in eliminating these ISIS/ISIL terrorists.Recommend

  • rabidrightwingnation

    who punished all buddhists who once lived in bamiyan?? remember that big statue in bamiyan?? where are those budhhists now?Recommend

  • unbelievable

    “According to the United Nations (UN), all members are duty-bound to join
    the peace keeping force. Thereby, Pakistan being a member of the UN may
    feel obliged to join the forces in Iraq to eradicate the radicals.”

    You have to be kidding?Recommend

  • Question mark?

    More pertinent, how is killing an entire Jewish tribe considered as evidence of trying to create a welfare state?Recommend

  • Johnny Davis

    Mohammand was trying to create a welfare state? The article was incoherent nonsense.Recommend

  • logicwins

    @ Moiz Omar
    Why not first start with eliminating Pakistani terrorists like LeT who massacred 180 innocent (400 people injured) people in Mumbai. How about the eliminating the Haqqani terrorists who kill innocent Afghans? How about giving up on the policy of using “good” terrorists as part of geopolitical games?Recommend

  • marik

    Welfare of Muslims by looting and enslaving and extortion of all other humans.Recommend